Despite having been considered as favourites, Hungarian champions Ferencváros was shocked and sunk by Albanian side Partizani Tirana in the second round of the Champions League qualifications. Although in Albania last week Ferencváros played out a favourable 1-1 draw and was hopeful regarding second leg, the green-whites could find the net only from the penalty spot at the Groupama Arena on Wednesday night.
Ferencváros dominated the game from the beginning and took the lead by veteran midfielder Zoltán Gera’s penalty in the 13th minute. However, Partizani Tirana was able the come back in game and equalized thanks to a horrible own goal by Fradi defender Oliver Hüsung five minutes before break. Ferencváros increased the pressure with attacking substitutes in the second half but neither teams could score more until full time and the match continued with 30 minutes extra time and penalty shots.
While the Albanians converted three shots to goals, including a tricky “Panenka”, the Hungarian team scored only once, meaning that Partizani Tirana goes through to the next round. Ferencváros fans are now devasted by the defeat, the home team’s poor attacking display was a huge disappointment in particular. Since Fradi has been knocked out as soon as the second round of the Champions League qualifications, the Hungarian team cannot continue in the Europe League either.
FERENCVÁROS – PARTIZANI TIRANA 1-1 (2-2 on aggregate, 1-3 on penalties)
Champions League Qualifications, 2nd round, 2nd leg
Budapest, Groupama Arena, attendance: 9000
Referee: Kristo Tohver (Estonia)
Goals: Gera (14., penalty) and Hüsing (40. – own goal)